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Tilting at snowgums : Australia's high country in poetry and Photos, O'Connor, Mark
1 O'Connor, Mark Tilting at snowgums : Australia's high country in poetry and Photos
Australia Tabletop Press 1996 0959084185 / 9780959084184 1st Edition Soft Cover Very Good 8vo Klaus Hueneke 
80 pages. The poems in this book deal with what is known as the Australian Alps, or the High Country, or the Snowy Mountains, or simply the Snowy. They are meant to be read less as separate pieces than as an overlapping mosaic. They rarely strain towards some climactic conclusion; rather each flows on Into the next. Hence I have left many without titles, and simply put them in the contents list under their first lines. I have tried to let the sights, the sounds and the species of the High Country speak for themselves, in particulars rather than generalities. The wonder of the Snowy Mountains is in the breadth of what they offer. As I travelled across them, often relying on more practical-minded companions to keep track of the contours and the route, I found my experiences in one region would flow together with those in another. Thoughts begun while looking at a herbfield on Mt Kosciusko in NSW would be answered by further thoughts on Mt Howitt in Victoria or Mt Bimberi in the A.C.T. Each place was so much itself; yet common themes and experiences ran through them all - much as the mountain huts, though each unique, are shaped by common realities. Because I have written books of verse about the Great Barrier Reef and the East Coast rainforests, and have an obvious interest in environment, readers might assume that I am an old lover of the Australian Alps. The truth is more nearly the reverse. This book is the work of a belated convert. For much of my life l have had a great aversion to cold, and have made it my business to avoid cold regions. Writing about snow country was the more difficult in that I normally need to be on my own to get inspiration for a poem. In the Australian Alps this involved sometimes breaking the well-founded rule that one should never hike or ski cross-country on one's own. I did --but I carried such a mound of thermal clothing that even If I had broken a leg and had to lie out in the snow I could probably have survived. Indeed by the end of a year I was starting to regret that I could not find weather cold enough for the gear I was carrying. A further obstacle was that I had always before been driven to write about regions that (unlike the Snowy) lacked a strong literary or at least a strong poetic tradition. This was not just because any kind of exploration is more exciting when one imagines one is the first, but because part of the point of writing about Australia's rich natural regions is to help presente them. (in the Afterword). 
Price: 27.00 AUD
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